Multiple national strategies have been developed address the opioid crisis, however, Canada still remains the second largest consumer of prescription opioids. These drugs can have negative effects on consumers because they have addictive properties so therefore consumers may become addicted to these drugs if there are not taken as prescribed. For other drug classes such as antimicrobials, there have been programs developed to improve prescribing and hence patient outcomes. These programs are collectively called antimicrobial stewardship programs and usually promote cooperation between health professionals. However, most programs do not specify how nurses can promote safe prescribing and they usually are under-utilized in these programs, although it has been shown that these programs lead to better patient outcomes e.g. reduced hospital-acquired infections. For opioids, the concept of stewardship is quite ill-defined so not surprisingly nursing roles in opioid stewardship are also under-utilized. TO BE CONT’D
Canadian Nurses Association
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